Monday, August 4, 2014

An open letter to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi

The safety, honour and welfare of Bharathvarsh come first, always and every time.

Respected Shri Narendra Modi,

Jai Hind & Namashkar.

1.        This letter of mine is NOT to praise you, but to let you know about the various pitfalls you are likely to face in governing this Country.

2.       There is no denying the fact that you have been very successful as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, having led the state into the path of development & prosperity. However, you surely realize and understand that Gujarat is not India and India is not Gujarat. There is a world of difference between governing a State as its Chief Minister and governing an entire country as its Prime Minister. It is because of your indomitable spirit and courage of conviction, that our country, after a long time, has a party which enjoys an absolute majority in Parliament. This is a good augury, because India can now look forward to a period of stability & progress in all fields, especially in the Economy and Defence. I need hardly point out to you that a nation’s Economy and Defence go hand in hand. A country cannot be strong without a strong economy; and vice versa, a country can progress economically only when it has a strong Defence capability.  

India at the cross roads

3.       India today is at the cross-roads of history; and it is to YOU, Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bharat, that the people are looking up to, for leading the country on the path of peace, progress & prosperity; and, restoring India its fame & glory; and, its pre-eminent position as a torchbearer of democracy, in the comity of Nations.

Dangers lurking in the Defence front

4.       The relations between nations is governed by the dictum, ‘Jis ki laathi; uski bhains’. Whether one accepts it or not, the fact is that, today, we are militarily weak, compared to China. And the stark truth is that we will be nowhere in case China and Pakistan attack India in tandem. A combined onslaught by China and Pakistan would result in the annexation of Arunachal Pradesh by China and the grabbing of Kashmir by Pakistan. This would open the flood gates for the balkanization of Bharat.  

Strengthening Defence Preparedness  

5.       It is indeed heartening to see that your heart is in the right place and that you realize the importance of a strong Defence capability and have accordingly directed expeditious development of roads & other infrastructure along the border with China, in both Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. One can also see changes for the better being ushered in other fields too, viz. speedy odernization of the Armed Forces.

A Leader and his Team

6. In delivering goods, no doubt a good leader matters; but what is equally important is that a good leader is ably supported by a good team. The wisdom in a leader lies in choosing the right people to form an effective team. And when we talk of your present team, I must say that it has its weak links. Arun Jaitley, a good lawyer would be a good Law Minister; but, does not fit the bill to be a Finance Minister. Similarly, Sushma Swaraj, a good orator in Parliament; does not fit the bill as a Minister for External Affairs. Certain cabinet portfolios, viz. Finance, Home, External Affairs and Defence are crucial; and must, therefore, be manned by people of eminence & competence. I would strongly recommend that either Dr Subramanian Swamy or Arun Shourie be appointed as the Finance Minister. 

7. China. And the stark truth is that we will be nowhere in case China and Pakistan attack India in tandem. A combined onslaught by China and Pakistan would result in the annexation of Arunachal Pradesh by China and the grabbing of Kashmir by Pakistan. This would open the flood gates for the balkanization of Bharat. 

Enemies within

8. Before you proceed further in your path of governing this country, YOU must know, as to who are the enemies of the country. And I must tell you: the enemies of the country are not  Pakistan  or  China. The enemies  are within. The country, today, is  being  looted & plundered by a Gang of Four: 1. The Politicians, needless to say, are corrupt; and each one of them (with minor exceptions) are worth thousands of crores of rupees; 2. The Bureaucrats, again corrupt, each one of them (with stray exceptions) worth hundreds of crores of rupees; 3. The law enforcement & investigative agencies, viz. Police, Revenue, etc. needless to say (with stray exceptions) are corrupt; and, 4.  Business houses & Corporates.   Of all these, the vilest are the Babus, ie. the Bureaucrats. In the interest of Bharatvarsh, I would urge that you first discipline & tame the bureaucracy; otherwise, however much you may try and work hard, the bureaucracy will make sure that nothing moves. (I would request you to take the trouble of reading my attached paper with the caption: Who is responsible for India being a soft state? The IAS mafia of course).

Rules of Business of the Government of India

9. The first thing YOU must do is to bring about changes in the Rules of Business of the Union Government,  according to which, it is the Defence Secretary, a bureaucrat of the IAS, who is responsible for the Defence & Security of this nation; and NOT the Defence Minister or the three Chiefs of the Army, Navy & Air Force. Strange, but true. And since it is the Defence Secretary, an IAS bureaucrat, who is responsible for the Defence & Security of this nation, it ought to have been the head of the-then Defence Secretary that should have rolled first, immediately after the 1962 debacle. Unfortunately, it was not so; it was the-then Defence Minister and the COAS who got the boot.  

Erosion of Power & Prestige of the Service Chiefs

10. Over the decades, the interests of Defence and National Security have been compromised and jeopardized by the unaccountable and inefficient bureaucrats in the North Block and South Block, who have successfully bullied & browbeaten the Chiefs of the Army, Navy & Air Force into submission. After every war won by the Armed Forces, there has been steady erosion of the power & prestige of the Service Chiefs by bringing down their standing in the official Order of Precedence.  

Integration of Service HQ of the Army, Navy & Air Force with Defence Ministry and Appointment of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

11. Numerous committees convened by the Union Government, including the ‘Naresh Chandra Committee’, the ‘Kargil Review Committee (KRC)’ and the Committee of Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Shri LK Advani to delve deeply into all aspects of Indian security, have time & again recommended the integration of Service HQs of the Army, Navy & Air Force with the Defence Ministry; and, the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), in the interest of national security. Sadly, none of the recommendations have been implemented till date. The question is: who is responsible for negating these vitally important recommendations of various committees? There are no prizes for guessing. It is the bureaucrats of the IAS, who are ruling the roost and are vehemently opposed to these measures; because of their fear of losing their clout with the ruling dispensation. Today, it is the Defence Secretary who is the de facto CDS, to whom the three Service Chiefs report. 

Service Chiefs: Pliant subordinates. 

12. To be honest, the three Service Chiefs today act more like pliant subordinates when it comes to interacting with the IAS bureaucrats in Raisina Hill. I often wonder why our Service Chiefs, who are otherwise men of honour and epitomise the virtues of soldiering, suddenly become so servile and display lack of moral fibre when it comes to standing up to the Government; and, in rendering balanced, mature & timely advice on matters relating to Defence preparedness and the Nation’s security. May be, it is the lure of a few crumbs of office likely to be thrown at them after their retirement, e.g. appointment as Governors of inconsequential States in the North East; or, ‘plum’ ambassadorial posts to countries like Guatemala, Honduras or Nicaragua; or may be, even to countries like El Salvador, Costa Rica or Belize!!

Welfare of Ex-Servicemen.

13. Callous Service Chiefs. Successive Armed Forces Chiefs, other than mouthing platitudes and saying that Welfare of Ex-Servicemen is their top priority, have done precious little for the amelioration of woes of Ex-Servicemen and widows of soldiers killed in wars. It is unfortunate that the three Service Chiefs have been mute spectators to the injustice being heaped on Ex-Servicemen by the Dept of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW). Military Formation Commanders and Station Commanders very rarely address / interact with Ex-Servicemen. Commanders of Army Formations and Units & Establishments that garner crores of rupees by way of Canteen profit (which accrues mainly on account of the huge population of Ex-Servicemen buying general stores & liquor from the Army Canteens), do not bother to even host a cup of tea, even once a year, to the Ex-Servicemen and Defence Family Pensioners. Indeed sad. 

Dept. of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) in Ministry of Defence.

14.  Considering the negative attitude, bordering on hatred, displayed by the DESW towards Ex-Servicemen in negating all positive recommendations or judgments in favour of Ex-Servicemen by various Armed Forces Tribunals (AFTs); and, their palpable malice towards Ex-Servicemen by deliberately challenging and dragging all cases of awards in favour of Ex-Servicemen right upto the Hon’ble Supreme Court; it would only be correct to rename DESW as Dept of Hatred towards Ex-Servicemen (DHESM).  

Manning of Dept. of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) in Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Directorate of Rajya Sainik Welfare & Resettlement in all States.  

15. Knowing your concern for the welfare and well-being of Ex-Servicemen & War Widows, I would urge YOU to direct that:-

(a)    Dept of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) be manned only by Ex-Servicemen; and, be placed under the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC)/CDS (when appointed), forming part of HQ Integrated Defence Staff.

(b)    The post of Director, Rajya Sainik Welfare & Resettlement in all States be held only by Serving Officers of the rank of Brigadier; and by Colonels in smaller States. HQ Integrated Defence Staff to convene a Committee comprising serving and retired Officers to study the requirement in its entirety.

One Rank One Pension.

16.    An emotive issue. One Rank One Pension (OROP) is a highly emotive issue. It is thanks to YOU, because of  your unequivocal announcement at the Ex-Servicemen Rally at Rewari in Sep 2013 that BJP would grant OROP to Ex-Servicemen once it comes to power, that the Congress decided to announce the grant of OROP to Ex-Servicemen during the Budget presentation on 17 Feb 2014, in its last days.
Ex-Servicemen hoping for ‘Achhe Din’.  

17. The Ex-Servicemen fraternity was jubilant when you took over as the Prime Minister and eagerly looked forward to the fulfillment of your promise to grant OROP, at the earliest. But alas, the grant of OROP is nowhere in sight, despite the fact that a Draft Government Letter on grant of OROP has been worked out jointly by the three Service HQs and submitted to the Ministry of Defence for issue of a formal Government communication, for implementation. Why is the delay taking place and who is responsible? The culprits are the Babus, ie. bureaucrats of the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Finance who are stalling the issue by misguiding Shri Arun Jaitley, the Defence-cum-Finance Minister; that grant of OROP to Ex-Servicemen, as envisaged and recommended by the Koshiari Committee, would result in huge financial drain on the economy, which the country can ill afford. This is a concoction and distortion of facts that must be dealt with, in the strongest terms.

Ex-Servicemen feel let down by Shri Arun Jaitley, the Defence-cum-Finance Minister.  

18. On 16 July 2014, a delegation of Ex-Servicemen led by Lt Gen SK Bahri, Chairman, Alliance of Ex-Servicemen Organisations and Maj Gen Satbir Singh, Chairman, Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, met Shri Arun Jaitley, the Defence-cum-Finance Minister for the expeditious grant of OROP. During the meeting, it soon became evident to the delegation, that, Shri Arun Jaitley, the Defence-cum-Finance Minister he had been incorrectly briefed by the bureaucrats, with malicious intent, to hedge & stall the issue; for, Shri Arun Jaitley told the delegation, “the feasibility of granting One Rank One Pension, taking into consideration its financial implication and viability, would be considered by a committee that would be convened soon”. One Rank One Pension is thus back to square one. 

Loss of Faith in the Defence Minister.  

19. Ex-Servicemen are dismayed and disappointed with the outcome of their meeting with Shri Arun Jaitley, the Defence-cum-Finance Minister. To be honest, the Ex-Servicemen have lost faith in Shri Arun Jaitley, the Defence-cum-Finance Minister. (An article titled, ‘Pension, it is rank injustice’ appearing in The Hindu newspaper dated 22 July 2014 is attached for your perusal please). 

Intervention by the Hon’ble Prime Minister.  

20. In the interest of welfare & well-being of Ex-Servicemen and widows of Ex-Servicemen and war widows, the Ex-Servicemen urge your personal intervention on this critically important issue. Any dissatisfaction among the Ex-Servicemen fraternity has a direct bearing on the morale of serving soldiers, as most of them are either sons or brothers of Ex-Servicemen. Seeing the injustice meted out to Ex-Servicemen, one can hear the serving soldiers say, ‘Aaj, unkey saath; kal, hamarey saath’. 

Modi, the Saviour.

21. The Ex-Servicemen fraternity is grateful to YOU for your unstinted support that resulted in the grant, in principle, of OROP by the previous Government, in its last days. The Ex-Servicemen fraternity now look up to you, Sir, for a display of sagacity & perspicacity, by way of issuance of firm and categorical instructions to the bureaucrats in the Ministries of Defence and Finance to implement the  payment of One Rank One Pension, immediately. 

With best regards,

Yours sincerely,

Colonel SS Rajan,

1 comment:

  1. Its not the IAS alone. Army is equally responsible for the poor state of affairs. They complain about the treatment meted out them by IAS, but they treat worst to civilian employees working with them...